‘Hello Dere’ starring Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell

Jul 1, 2002 11:35 PM

"Hello Dere" starring Marty Allen and Karon Kate Blackwell comes to the Suncoast Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call (702) 636-7075.

Marty Allen is one of the most versatile performers in show business. He has worked solo as a comedy headliner in nightclubs and as a dramatic actor in television roles. Marty’s friendly "Hello Dere" greeting is known and imitated by fans throughout the world.

Born in Pittsburgh, Marty grew up in an atmosphere of love and serenity. Upon graduating from high school during World War II, he immediately joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Italy where he attained the rank of sergeant and earned Soldier’s Medal of Valor.

After the war, to sublimate his income, Marty hit on a novel idea. He became the first door-to-door dance salesman. For $10 a half-hour, Marty would arrive at women’s doors with a record player and records and they would dance. He finally gave it up because he was visiting 15 clients a day and it was costing him a fortune in new shoes and foot powder.

During the 1950s, Marty worked in many of the top nightclubs in the country as an opening act for such stars as Sarah Vaughan, Eydie Gorme and Nat King Cole. It was during this time he became part of the great and legendary comedy team of Allen & Rossi.

Karon Kate Blackwell and Marty met in the mid 80s. The two began performing together, combining Karon’s music and Marty’s comedy.

As a vocalist, Karon can glide effortlessly from country to rhythm and blues and gospel to a ballad by Irving Berlin or the Gershwins. Many of the songs she sings are her own compositions.

Karon’s boogie-woogie at the piano brings down the house every time. Karon has recorded several albums. A single entitled I Can’t Laugh was a Cashbox "pick-of-the-week" selection in 1994.

Proceeds from the sale of her tapes, CDs and sheet music are donated to two local Las Vegas charities.